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Old 2008-07-25, 02:24   Link #1041
bbduece
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All religions come with great teachings but they also flow within them flaws and fallacies.
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Old 2008-07-25, 07:15   Link #1042
dodonpa
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It seems to be "Because the Christianity cannot be understood, the
Japs is barbarous. " according to Caucasian-sama.
Even if the missionary propagates certainly hard in Japan, Christian's
ratio seems not to have exceeded 1%.
A Korean Christianity priest : in the United States. It was said,
"Because Japan was ground of a barren Christianity, I will make it known" etc.

It is care more still. There is no thing of thought and sense of values pressing it gloomy.
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Old 2008-07-25, 13:40   Link #1043
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodonpa View Post
It seems to be "Because the Christianity cannot be understood, the
Japs is barbarous. " according to Caucasian-sama.
Even if the missionary propagates certainly hard in Japan, Christian's
ratio seems not to have exceeded 1%.
A Korean Christianity priest : in the United States. It was said,
"Because Japan was ground of a barren Christianity, I will make it known" etc.

It is care more still. There is no thing of thought and sense of values pressing it gloomy.
Christianity has a very poor history in Japan, due to people on both sides.

I'm sure that some early missionaries were condescending then as is always the case when cultures meet. Of course, it didn't help when thousands of Christians in Japan were murdered over the years. And NO ONE was happy about the cults that rose up in between then and now.

Today, I don't know of any one who holds the view of Japanese as "barbaric". However, Christianity in Japan tends to be "dead". There are many reasons for this, but overall, as a Christian missionary, I'm rather ashamed of the state of Christianity in Japan. The Japanese Christians have a hard enough time due to the surrounding culture, and find little effective support American missionaries (the overwhelming majority of Christian missionaries are from the US) who have zero understanding of Japanese culture (and often don't even realize how the indigenous culture is different, and how it must be respected).

The problem with Christianity in Japan isn't the religion, but is a problem of culture--and neither culture here has anything to do with the culture Christianity came from. American culture sends missionaries who don't understand how to be respectful of the indigenous culture and meet the needs of the Japanese people, and Japanese culture with its unique history of mixing Shinto, Buddhist, and secular life and rejecting Christianity as a foreign lifestyle.

As well, most Christian missions are focused on approaching and helping either a traditional western society (which is similar to their own and has a history of western church influence), or on either reshaping or meeting the needs of poor and/or religiously inclined societies. The spread of Christianity in Korea is very much an anomaly, driven very much by the passionate, more free Korean social ties.

Part of my purpose in going to Japan is to do my part to improve the state of Christianity in Japan by trying to separate the religious and cultural elements and focusing on meeting the needs of the local people instead of approaching Japan like they do the rest of the world, which can cause no small amount of social harm.
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Old 2008-07-25, 13:50   Link #1044
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The Christianity that has typically been presented to Japan has been very Western-centric, and in order for it to work it needed to adapt to the unique Japanese culture. Unfortunately, many European missionaries considered the Japanese 'adaptions' of their religion to be wrong. It's a fact that many current Christian rituals/holidays were adapted from European pagan practices prior to them being converted. In a way, Christianity has been kept pretty Euro-American centric (some pockets in the Middle East as well), though that has been changing recently with a more modern outlook on things.
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Old 2008-07-25, 14:12   Link #1045
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Well, Kyuusai, I'm sorry, but this is one of the things that make me gripe about religion... It ends up separating people. I believe Japanese Buddhism has too much to do with their culture to completely split it from it. I believe it would be impossible to disseminate Christianity in Japan without major changes to its doctrine, in order to adapt itself better to Japanese Buddhist standards, or else you will end up with a polarized "us" vs "them" (Japanese vs Western Christianity).

Otherwise, you end up with cultural conquest. Perhaps I'm being too closed minded, but I find it very hard to separate Japanese religion from their culture.
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Old 2008-07-25, 15:21   Link #1046
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Chainlink, thanks for saying that better than I seem to be capable of today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Well, Kyuusai, I'm sorry, but this is one of the things that make me gripe about religion... It ends up separating people. I believe Japanese Buddhism has too much to do with their culture to completely split it from it. I believe it would be impossible to disseminate Christianity in Japan without major changes to its doctrine, in order to adapt itself better to Japanese Buddhist standards, or else you will end up with a polarized "us" vs "them" (Japanese vs Western Christianity).

Otherwise, you end up with cultural conquest. Perhaps I'm being too closed minded, but I find it very hard to separate Japanese religion from their culture.
I should have been more clear, but I actually meant separating western culture from religion. The Christian doctrine (and by that I mean the pure Christian doctrine, not the layers of denominational nonsense so often added) is not really a problem, but the culture brought with it is. All the rituals and holidays and mindsets are not part of the religion, but part of the culture. It's just rare that some one understands that enough to create unity instead of division.

It's not that religion must change to be adopted into culture, but that the culture simply has to express it it in their own way. Likewise, finding a new faith doesn't mean denying lifetimes of history from a culture that practiced a different religion. I've known Christians from all over the world, several parts of eastern Asia included, who are great examples of this. Granted, these are not the most noticeable demographic.

"Cultural conquest" (I like the way you put that) by missionaries has long upset me. It doesn't have to be that way, and it is improving... but it's improving much slower in Japan than anywhere else. Whenever I hear about a Japanese church it's always the same thing: they hold American style church services, sing American songs, and suffer from a lack of attendance--and the attendance they do have is skewed toward younger members (Gee, I wonder why?). They're secluding themselves and acting like Americans instead of reaching out and meeting the needs of the people around them, which is supposed to be the point. I place the blame for that on the missionaries.
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Old 2008-07-25, 15:30   Link #1047
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To be overly short... it the "my way or the highway" problem. Its interesting to look at "christianity" in the South and Central Americas --- many of the festivals and such are barely distinguishable from their pagan antecedents. Good luck to Kyuusai ... coming from Texas as I do, I'm well aware that many missionaries (many of whom come from the evangelical South and Central US) can't seem to separate their local habits from the basic tenets of the religion ("put on some clothes because *I'm* having impure thoughts").

I have to admit my brain just kind of grinds when I think of evangelical Christianity tossed into Japan or India but then my gears grind when I watch Islam seep into the Indonesian region. ...... India I can almost see because (ignoring idiot neo-christian noise and looking at the core of New Testament thought) there's a lot of Parallel between aspects of Indian Buddhism and what Jesus said.. so much so that there's a fair business in writing "Jesus spent time in India before 30" speculations and even a few Christian sects based on that.

heh, I see Kyuusai and I were in a post-race. .... I suspect far fewer Japanese are *actually* christian than advertised. Its just more "all things western are cool" in another market.
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Old 2008-07-25, 18:04   Link #1048
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Well, Kyuusai, I'm sorry, but this is one of the things that make me gripe about religion... It ends up separating people.
I definitely agree with this. I recently suffered some of this in my own family. I would have never guessed it would have even been possible. This family member first started on religion as a means of self improvement and to strengthen moral and ethical values. Suddenly it seems like things are getting a bit preachy, as if I'm living with a missionary. The religion in question is Judaism.

I never really thought much of missionaries before, but after this particular incident I've grown to have a strong dislike for the idea. (Kyuusai, I hope that didn't give you an adrenaline rush - read on and you'll see that this doesn't go against what you're doing, I believe.) I view religion as a set of morals and ethics that are put into story form, to make it easier for people to comprehend, to remember, and to identify with. I don't see it as much more than that. As I've said before, I like to believe that God does exist, but I consider myself agnostic. Assuming that God does exist, I further like to think that, based off of what I've learned from Judaism, Christianity, and my very brief exposure to some parts of Islam, God's desire is that mankind live in peace and harmony, and work toward building a beautiful world.

To that end, it shouldn't matter whether I am Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Zoroastrian, agnostic, or athiest. If I have the basic morals and ethics that are conducive to bringing peace into the lives of others, my denomination should not matter. Rather, making a big deal about what to brand my ethics with creates division and strife. I'm thinking of the instances where Christians have told me that unless I convert, I'll go to hell. I'm thinking of the instances where ultra-orthodox Jews have told me that unless I live and die by the kosher laws, God will be displeased with me. These people create a sense of inferiority and superiority, and in truth they have no more authority to tell me what God expects of me than I would to tell them my version of it. If the goal of religion is truly and simply to bring about peace and understanding between people, then this creation of divisions by focusing on which version of the story you prefer is completely counter to the goal of all religion itself!

Of course, there is a fair bit of irony in what I just wrote. I've stepped back and boiled all religions down to a few simple goals, and stated that the uniting factor should not be your beliefs of the story but rather your acceptance of the virtues (which are more or less the same for all religions). What happens to people whose beliefs and desires don't match with those of the religions? Assuming that people follow the tenet of "live and let live," nothing. Realistically, there would be conflict, formed from people grouping together for one purpose and then feeling that others not like them are working against them. That is a matter of circumstance, rather than religion. Differences will always exist; humans are good at dividing themselves into sub-groups based on similarities, which means that they are adept at discerning differences, too. Unfortunately, the religious who fail to realize the larger goal of religion end up creating more divisions based on superficial differences.

Apologies if this came off as being a bit aggressive. I'm very flustered with the idea that something like this has presented itself in my own life, and in a manner that is very close to me.
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Old 2008-07-25, 18:15   Link #1049
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Quote:
To that end, it shouldn't matter whether I am Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Zoroastrian, agnostic, or athiest. If I have the basic morals and ethics that are conducive to bringing peace into the lives of others, my denomination should not matter. Rather, making a big deal about what to brand my ethics with creates division and strife. I'm thinking of the instances where Christians have told me that unless I convert, I'll go to hell. I'm thinking of the instances where ultra-orthodox Jews have told me that unless I live and die by the kosher laws, God will be displeased with me.
I had the same answer from one of my Christian friends, and no matter how much I think about that, it still doesn't make sense. And he isn't even a fundamentalist or anything of the sort (he's probably one of the most open Christian persons I know).

I'll be damned if I ever understand how that works.
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Old 2008-07-25, 18:21   Link #1050
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And lo, behold that no topic involving religion in any way can avoid debate.

I'm an evangelical Christian, but I have problems with most organized religion. I believe that the Church was established by God for His people, but the majority has devolved into human in-fighting. Its hard to find one not bogged down in factional pseudo-doctrine, but I'm fortunate enough to have done just that.

To make a long story short. I'm more of a spiritualist.
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Old 2008-07-25, 18:22   Link #1051
Vexx
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Welll...... of *course* you'll be damned.

Exclusivity on the "truth" and all others are animals to be killed is a good red flag that something is flummoxed, but I belive Monty Python's "Way of the Shoe" micro-lesson in religious history says it well.
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Old 2008-07-25, 19:47   Link #1052
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Here's something most Christians don't know about that's located in scripture:

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and windows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


Its widely debated as to what that verse actually means. I personally think it falls under the category of things Jesus wishes He could explain to us. He said that somewhere in the Gospel, if I remember correctly, but I spent 45 minutes tracking down the exact location of the verse in James and I really don't want to go digging for another. xD

Keep in mind, he also said in Mark 16:16

"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

(That one was easy to find. I remembered half of it, so I just googled it. :P )

Make of that what you will, I suppose. I'm not sure myself on what it means, but I think it provides hope.
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Old 2008-07-25, 19:55   Link #1053
Backwards Blues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Welll...... of *course* you'll be damned.

Exclusivity on the "truth" and all others are animals to be killed is a good red flag that something is flummoxed, but I belive Monty Python's "Way of the Shoe" micro-lesson in religious history says it well.
I take offense to this statement.

No where in Christian scripture are people spoken of as worthless animals to be slaughtered because they don't believe. If anything there is an air of despair and pity for those who won't believe. Don't demonize something just because you disagree with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
(ignoring idiot neo-christian noise and looking at the core of New Testament thought)
Another example. You seem intent on belittling any ideas you dislike. I remind you that on the very first page of this thread xris warned against insults here, and this certainly qualifies.
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Old 2008-07-25, 20:30   Link #1054
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Backwards Blues, I think you mistake Vexx's meaning. He's using a heavy amount of friendly sarcasm to distinguish between the core of Christian belief and the bunk that many of its practitioners insert for themselves.
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Old 2008-07-25, 20:36   Link #1055
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I would disagree. Its possible, but I've never been too shabby at detecting textual sarcasm. I could very well have stumbled into an understood premise of sarcasm amongst friends. If that's the case, I withdraw my statement.

Regardless, he is trotting a fine line here.
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Old 2008-07-25, 20:48   Link #1056
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwards Blues View Post
I would disagree. Its possible, but I've never been too shabby at detecting textual sarcasm. I could very well have stumbled into an understood premise of sarcasm amongst friends. If that's the case, I withdraw my statement.

Regardless, he is trotting a fine line here.
Oh, he's been snarky and grouchy before (it's one of his specialties!), but he was making the same differentiation between Christian spirituality and the human infighting you were.

(I assume. And he'll come by to correct me if I'm wrong.)
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Old 2008-07-25, 21:13   Link #1057
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Backwards Blues View Post
I would disagree. Its possible, but I've never been too shabby at detecting textual sarcasm. I could very well have stumbled into an understood premise of sarcasm amongst friends. If that's the case, I withdraw my statement.

Regardless, he is trotting a fine line here.
Then you need to go back and read *all* my posts on this thread where I spend as much time defending as poking. Yeah, you missed the point badly, probably because you jumped in at the latter part of what has been a long discussion.

I rarely attack a religion itself ... but I'll happily pounce on so-called members of one that don't seem to _get_ their own religion or who abuse it to carry their own baggage or agendas. People don't get a free pass just because they claim their religion justifies an attitude.

As far as
Quote:
No where in Christian scripture are people spoken of as worthless animals to be slaughtered because they don't believe.
... perhaps a rereading of the battles and events in the Old Testament where such events are recounted is in order?
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Old 2008-07-25, 21:29   Link #1058
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As far as ... perhaps a rereading of the battles and events in the Old Testament where such events are recounted is in order?
That's hardly a comparable example. Just because people died for their lack of belief, or as consequence of being in a war, (People do tend to die in war) does not mean that they, as humans, were disregarded as livestock for slaughter.
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Old 2008-07-25, 21:33   Link #1059
Vexx
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Wait... so you don't think the stories where the Lord commanded his people to go into the city and slaughter every man, woman, and child count as examples?
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Old 2008-07-25, 21:36   Link #1060
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Wait... so you don't think the stories where the Lord commanded his people to go into the city and slaughter every man, woman, and child count as examples?
I think that war is war.

Because nasty things had to happen in order for Israel to establish itself does not mean that other people were disregarded as animals, just that they were unfortunate consequences.
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